By ANGELO VELOTTA
For the Star Beacon
Coaches and players always enjoy using the cliché, defense wins championships.
In the case of the Cardinal Huskies, it won them a game on a Tuesday night as they held the St. John Heralds to just three points in the final period to pull out a 47-39 win.
The key to Huskies stops in the final frame were their ability to limit the Heralds shot opportunities.
“We’ve been stressing boxing out and rebounding,” Cardinal coach Darrell Haskins said. “A lot of possessions (they had) were one and done.”
Cardinal (2-18) led 41-36 after three quarters, but the Heralds (9-10, 9-3) cut that deficit to three at 42-39 with 5:18 remaining.
Unfortunately, for St. John, that marked the end of the scoring for it as the Huskies closed the game out on a 5-0 run.
Haskins was pleased to see his squad get their second victory of the season.
“(It) Feels good, I am real happy for the girls, they have a great attitude,” he said. “That’s the best shooting we’ve had all year.”
Kendall Gingerich led the way for Cardinal with a game-high 14 points, including three triples, and eight rebounds.
“Honestly we had to keep positive, we have been practicing a lot outside,” Gingerich said. “Pretty much our mentality is we have to keep playing hard.”
Christine Morris followed Gingerich in scoring with nine points, eight rebounds and four steals for the Huskies while Jess Koches, Cheyenne Polverine and Emily Kruse all added eight points each.
St. John started the game off strong, scoring 13 in the opening frame to trail the Huskies 15-13 after the first period.
They continued that scoring in the second, but still trailed 32-27 at halftime.
But, the Heralds scored just 12 points in the second half.
“We hadn’t played (in a while) and both teams got on fire and played good basketball,” St. John coach Nick Iarocci said. “(We were) stuck on 39, so many opportunities to get it down to one possession. Credit to Cardinal, (they’re a) good group of girls.”
Despite the loss, Iarocci was happy to see his girls shooting and said their goals going into the season are still attainable.
“(I’m) glad we took shots... Take shots, you can’t make shots if you don’t take shots, ,” he said. “The goal is to win our league, our league tourney.”
Mackenzie Stenroos led the Heralds in scoring with nine points.
Velotta is a freelance writer from Concord Township.